z. bush photo
was out at a mega secret spot recently. it was peaky and warbly and not real good but the novelty of its secrecy was enough to make us happy to be there. it was raining and super foggy that day. our friend z. bush -aka Mr. Bush, aka Fog Snapper, aka Slim Mack, happened to be there this day and took a few furtive shots.
Slim Mack would be the first to admit that this photo ain’t worth nothin either -surfiwise or otherwise. but being as I like to see myself in photos standing on a surfboard pretending to know what I’m doing, and that my ego is just so that I ‘curate’ this here personal blog which is sometimes (admittedly not often) about topics aside from surfing, I begged and pleaded for a digitized copy that I could post here for the three of you who stop here from time to time -or the unsuspecting search engine noob who gets snared by my keyword fantasticnes, into landing on these pixels floating in neverland cyberspace.
nothing else to report at this time. no waves. no inspirational moments today. still waiting though. send me an email with the winning lotto numbers. rasblog at gmail. yeah I’m talking to you Nostradamus. I knows your out there watching over us, laughing at our coming demise. I bet you never saw the fat (obesity) epidemic coming though did ya? shit. can you imagine the hospitals in 20 years, rooms overflowing with rolls of unwashed and bed-sore fat, the smell of putrid flatulence permeating the pores of all those who’d come near. supersize it biaatch.
I’ve been geeking on the board design commonly referred to as a hull or stubbie. one of the main proponents of the design is Greg Liddle. the famed hull rider sometimes referred to as Dirt is pictured above. Dirt worked closely with Liddle to tweak the design.
I in particular only surfed Malibu, Little Dume ( with rare success), California Street, Pitas Point, Rincon and Cojo on the Hollister Ranch. Well, this is a rare group of not perfect but very good lined up right point breaks or point break like waves that have a continuity in the way the wave is shaped, where the power exists, when there is power at all and in the average size of waves.
The boards that I like to call “modified transitional displacement hulls” evolved to ride these waves. I understand that there are surf spots throughout the planet that have elements of these waves and these designs will certainly work at some level at many of these breaks.
we have a few spots around here that fit Greg’s description. over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a chance to ride a hull and it’s given me a whole new level of stoke for surfing -not that I needed to get any more obsessed.
my friend JB likes to call me a closet hipster. pretty damn funny really since I’m not too keen on the hipster scene. the hull movement may on the surface seem to be associated with the hipster scene. JB -I’m a hipster OK. I admit it.
I have always been interested in culture that exists on the fringes. the thing about the whole Hull thing is that there’s all this back story to it. some of it real and some fictional.
there’s a deeply rooted culture around the design aspects of the board. for me, what really validates the ‘cultural’ movement is the fact that it’s not commercialized. sure you have to buy a board from someone who knows how to make them, but aside from the equipment the rest of the visual and written information about Hulls lives on personal blogs and in magazine articles like the one that appeared in TSJ Vol. 15 No. 2.
I chose these photos to show how much rail is buried in the wave when turning on a hull.
the thin rails, flat rocker and rounded or hulled bottom make the board sit in the water as opposed to plane on top of the water like a modern board with concave and rails with edge.
if you watch closely you’ll notice that a lot of people out in the water are focusing their attention to turning off the tail and fins. there’s nothing wrong with that except that it often lacks speed. I see very few guys surfing off their rails with speed and control. the irony is that being able to surf off the rail is what truly allows you to maintain speed through the turns. the modern thrusters have made boards really ‘loose’ and easy to surf but perhaps it makes it harder to learn basics like rail surfing.
man I had some fun this mornin. got up at 4:17 am. the buoy read 8.5′ @ 10 seconds. I loaded the car with my thruster and the 6’6″ stubbie while the water boiled for coffee. at a 4:30 there was a golden light coming outta the eastern horizon already. I reckon I could get in the water at that time.
I drove to the *&%^$ and took a look. the little left point was looking fun although a bit small at full tide. the a-frame over in the bay was showing promise but a bit too deep still. I took a quick run to check the rights. they looked better but I really wanted to ride the stubbie on the lefts.
I was in the water by ten after five. the water has warmed up quite a bit lately and it was super clear. a sliver of moon stood still on the eastern front -soon to be chased away by the rising sun. there was no one in sight for a the first little while.
the stubbie doesn’t paddle all too well. it’s bearing-round bottom sits deep in the water and it takes some getting used to. the fin pushed up almost to the center of the board also makes it pivot as you paddle. just when I think it’s a low volume board I try a duck dive and barely make it under the white water -all the foam hidden in the middle, dissimulating razor thin rails.
the round bottomed singlefin is a strange bird. every take-off feels late, almost like you’re getting a little hung up in the lip except that the rail engages as soon as the board starts to trim and you’re in the sweet spot of the curl as soon as your feet hit the deck. perhaps the years of riding lognboards has given me advantage to figuring out the stubbie. it doesn’t feel weird to pop up in a narrow stance in the middle of the board. the board goes well so long as you don’t step on the tail. it’s a little counter intuitive.
once up I just lean the board over on the inside rail and it takes off. somehow the board manages to stay high in the pocket, right in the power part of the wave without my input. a slight unweighting of the inside rail and the board dives down the face. engaging the rail on the bottom turn is some next shit though. I found I had to get really low and stay centered on the board.
I didn’t quite get the feeling of the fin loading and releasing but I’m sure in time those subtleties would be clearer. only once did I manage to do a cutback on the thing, the hulled bottom and flat rocker allowing the whole rail to dip into the trough as I cut back into the pocket with full speed and then redirected with just as much speed or more even.
I surfed the board for two hours and only blew one take-off when I was too far forward on it. I definitely have not mastered the stubbie but I do have a feeling for it now and it’s rad. we have the perfect hull test tracks here and it seems like this design can make an otherwise average day into a really good one. the next test will be riding the stubbie on my backhand.
my thruster napped in the car. it may need to go into summer hibernation ’till the winter comes back with some real juice.